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We’re excited to release into our Subscriber collection “Paul Kelly: Stories of Me” – a film that celebrates the many lives, loves, and losses of one of Australia’s most beloved and gifted songwriters . Director Ian Darling charts the remarkable public career of Paul Kelly and provides great insight into the private man behind the music.
Paul Kelly has been marking out the Australian musical landscape since he started making music so many years ago. His career is legendary: spanning almost 40 years, penning over 350 songs in the name of love, sex, loss, death, family, friends, and places. Variously described not only as a songwriter, but also as a poet, a romantic, an artist, he has the ability to communicate with an audience that spans across age and across gender. His creativity has seen him collaborate with Indigenous musicians and artists of all genres, and allowed him to draw on the inspiration of his various heroes – literary, musical, artistic and sporting – to create a uniquely Australian sound. His songs have touched and shaped the musical landscape of modern-day Australia. They are interior landscapes, ones that guide us not just the physical terrain but also allow us to walk the emotional landscapes that Kelly himself has walked through.
And yet with Kelly, it has always been difficult to tell where the truth ends and the fiction begins. Kelly was the sixth of nine children, dux of his school, and began playing guitar very young. And while his life has been riddled with successes in the public domain, it has also been marked by loss and by failure in the private one.
For the first time ever in a feature-length film, “Paul Kelly: Stories of Me” gives a rare glimpse into the private world and creative process of an incredible artist. Here, the man behind the music is revealed, as Kelly speaks candidly about the people who have helped shape his life and music by interweaving rare archival footage, never-before-seen live performances, interviews with Kelly’s family members, former and current band members, and music contemporaries to paint a portrait of a poet at work.